Michael Hughes and Ger White
Tue 6 May 2014 13:32
We arrived on the small island of Sipika on 26th April----and loved it so much that we stayed for a week. Sipika is one of a large group of islands between Nias and Siberut--
a group of islands pretty much unknown except to some intrepid surfers. Before moving on to Sipika, we spent a couple of days on the island of Telo---the only island in the group where we could get
any decent supplies of fruit, veg and fish. But like all such places, it was dirty water etc. so it was good to move on through the reefs to the pristine clear waters of Sipika. Imagine a calm bay of blue
water, a clean soft white sand long beach backed by palm trees, nice coral, lots of fish life for good snorkelling---almost deserted other than a small local village of fishermen—very friendly but not
bothering us---and a 3 chalet surfers resort, an ideal place for up to a dozen surfers managed by a lovely guy called Ovie—excellent English and serving very cold beers. The resort was empty when we were there,
so he was not doing food---but his people unexpectedly would serve up popcorn or chips—gratis---to help the beer go down. Lovely people. Every evening. Joined by Ovie, who was full of information and stories and
seemed to appreciate company. We snorkelled and swam morning and afternoon, walked the island, got through loads of books—thank goodness for Kindles—and chilled. No phone signal and no internet---perfect peace!!
Pity none of us surfs—there were a couple of very good breaks.
But we had to move on—the Indian Ocean crossing approaches and we need provisions. So on 2 May we sailed to the southern tip of Pulau Tanahbala where we anchored for the night, then next day and overnight to arrive Padang
on the 4 May. The first big town since we left Phuket, great internet (good enough to see grand-daughter Tilly in her bath in Brisbane on Skype this afternoon---caused a sensation in the museum we were visiting at the time!), and
most of the provisions we could want. So we were provisioning yesterday and today, filled the tanks with diesel this morning etc. All with the assistance of a “fixer” Azu and his brother Rio. But tomorrow we have a day of rest---off on a day trip to Bukittinggi—about a 2 hour drive into the “highlands” ( where we are promised cool air rather than the slow parboiling to which we have become used). It should be an interesting trip.